The Department of Pediatrics faculty have an outstanding record with respect to attaining peer-reviewed external research funding-- IU is ranked in the top 10 in NIH funding for Pediatric Departments. There are multiple opportunities to participate in research as an elective, or in the ABP special research pathways.
Faculty are enthusiastic about mentoring the next generation of physician scientists. Electives, rotations, and special lectures offer options to pursue interests in multiple research methods from basic science to clinical studies to health services and policy research. We do not mandate a formal research requirement; however, all residents are expected to develop an area of emphasis for their Senior Project which is presented at a Senior Talk. In addition, we have an annual resident-fellow research day to recognize the excellent work of our trainees.
The research programs directed by our faculty range from studies of fundamental biologic principles utilizing the most sophisticated molecular biologic techniques to evaluations of new therapeutic strategies. The location of Riley Hospital on the campus on the second largest medical school in the U.S., provides a host of opportunities for collaborations between physicians and basic scientists.
We encourage all residents to develop scholarly pursuits in basic science, clinical work, quality improvement, and community projects. Residents present their Senior Projects at Noon Conference, and an Annual Resident Research Day poster and platform session at Grand Rounds recognizes resident research. Faculty are accessible and serve as mentors and collaborators.
For those committed to a career in pediatric research, the Morris Green Academic Scholars Program offers additional support. Green Scholars are integrated into the program with additional support for meeting travel, research meetings, mentorship, and electives. We do offer special accelerated ABP pathways which allow residents interested in fellowship training to options for qualified individuals who wish to integrate more research into residency training.
The Wells Center for Pediatric Research currently has two facility areas connected via an enclosed bridge between Riley Hospital and the adjacent Cancer Research Pavilion. The Wells Center provides outstanding resources for basic science research, facilitates collaboration among talented investigators within and outside of the Department of Pediatrics, and creates a stimulating environment for basic studies of genetic blood disorders, stem cell biology, perinatal metabolism, DNA repair, cardiac development and airways biology.
In 2010, IUSM received recognition for its outstanding research in the form of several prestigious awards. NIH Director Francis Collins and the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, visited the IUSM campus to announce a NIH $8.4 million award for a new clinical trials research facility. When completed, the new facility at Riley Children’s Hospital, will provide a state-of-the-art pediatric clinical research center. Additionally, in 2010 Lilly Endowment gifted IUSM with $60 million for the IUSM Translational Science Initiative. Recognition of IUSM’s excellent reputation for research has also been recognized in recent years with significant NIH awards. In 2008, NIH awarded a $25 million five-year Clinical and Translational Science Award to IUSM designed to fund critical and collaborative translational research activities. The Regenstrief Institute affiliated with IUSM has become one of the world’s leaders in the field of medical informatics and has received more than $45 million in NIH funding since 1977. In 2007, the NIH awarded an $11.5 million grant to IUSM for the study of congenital heart failure in children. The Department of Pediatrics at IUSM is currently ranked #7 in the nation in NIH research funding.
Two major areas of research are pursued in Adolescent Medicine-adolescent sexuality/risk for sexually transmitted diseases and chronic illness/public policy.
The current areas of research interest in the section of Pediatric Cardiology include echocardiography (transthoracic, fetal, and transesophageal), interventional cardiology, heart transplantation, nuclear cardiology, exercise physiology and metabolism, outcomes after heart surgery and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
Clinical Endocrine research interests range from bone metabolism and phytoestrogen effects to McCune-Albright syndrome and novel uses of growth hormone. The section has ongoing basic science projects investigating growth hormone releasing hormone-related peptide, the pathogenesis of granulosa cell tumors, mutations in the FSH receptor and abnormalities of G proteins.
The section of Hematology/Oncology is a member of the Children's Oncology Group, with participation in the phase I consortium and a clinical gene therapy program. Programs in hematopoiesis, intracellular signaling, gene transfer, fetal hematopoiesis, molecular biology of gene expression, control of cell proliferation, molecular biology of WBC disorders and DNA repair are in progress within the research center.
Research activities within the section of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine are focused on: developmental hematopoiesis and molecular immunology; fetal and neonatal energy metabolism, protein utilization and growth; and multicenter randomized clinical trials.
Research efforts in the section of Pediatric Pulmonary are directed at the evaluation of lung function in a variety of disease states, examining the fundamental mechanisms of airway reactivity and clinical trials for children with cystic fibrosis, asthma and apnea.
In 2001, the department began a new program in Children's Health Services Research which synergizes with the outstanding programs in health services research at the Regenstrief Institute and the Department of Medicine.